JCP urges government to aid the homeless

The Japanese Communist Party Project Team on Homelessness on December 13 made an emergency representation to the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare to protect the lives and health of homeless people from diseases and freezing death in midwinter.

The project team said the number of homeless people is increasing as a result of the "swift disposal of bad loans" policy of the Koizumi Cabinet. The total homeless population in Japan, according to the government statistics, is 35,000, 35 percent up from the previous year.

The project team requested that the government provide a subsidy to public medical facilities in order to secure a minimum number of beds for homeless people who may be hospitalized after falling ill on the street.

The team also demanded that the government increase the supplementary budget on measures to deal with the homeless issue and support municipalities in providing daily necessities to the homeless.

The government should secure housing and jobs for homeless people and should not refuse to provide them with public relief on the grounds of age or lack of proof of residence, the team argued. (end)